Easy bake family cake!
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
While we are all in isolation, its difficult to find something to do to keep ourselves and the kids entertained. Not only this but the shops aren't fully stocked with goodies like they usually are.
This cake was one of the first cakes i learnt how to make, i couldn't make cakes at this point, they had always ended in disaster. This is the first cake i never burnt and under cooked at the same time, it hadn't sunk, it wasn't raw in the middle, it wasn't perfection but it was at least edible and pretty tasty if i do say so myself.
So heres the rundown:
Ingredients: 250g butter
250g self raising flour
Take a large pan and melt your butter over a warm medium heat, until the butter is melted. Take your sugar and pour into the mixture, keep stirring until sugar has dissolved, due to the butter already being heated up i tend to take the mixture off the ring so as not to burn the butter.
Once you have mixed your sugar and butter take your eggs and break them into a bowl, this prevents any shell going into your cake mixture. mix it together until the eggs are mixed well then add half to your butter and sugar mix.
You have to be careful at this point as the eggs can curdle so i mix mine in two stages, i use a figure of 8 to mix the eggs with the sugar, once mixed i add the second half. Once the combination of eggs, flour and sugar are mixed i fold in a quarter (ish) of my flour, once folded in i add another quarter and so on until everything has been folded in, i then add a good tbsp of vanilla essence and fold that into my mixture. If your feeling brave and fancy colouring your cake mix now is the time to do it.
Before you pour the mixture into your baking tin, make sure that you have buttered and floured your tin and if you feel it necessary line the tin with baking paper. Once done, pour in your mixture using a spoon to spread it out then bang it 3 times on the worktop to get any extra air bubbles out.
Add the tin to your pre lit oven, i always cook mine slowly, so around 150 to 170 degrees and i always go by sight rather than time, so if your cake looks golden brown and has moved away from the edge of the tin, remove it from the oven and check with a skewer or knife to see if your cake is cooked in the middle. If it comes out dry you know it is cooked, if it comes out wet and gooey looking it needs a bit longer, i usually check every 10 mins at this point until im satisfied that my cake is cooked.
When you remove the cake from the oven leave it on the side for 5 or 10 mins for it to start cooling, i take a knife and run it around the edge of the cake making sure its not stuck. I then turn the tin over and slowly remove the tin from the cake, it helps by placing the cake out onto a cooling rack.
Leave the cake to cool down completely so i would give it a good hour or so depending on how hot it is in your home. Do not attempt to cut or decorate your cake while its still hot, as tempting as it is to take a slice its far worth the wait to let it go cold.
I gave this cake the title of "jam squares", purely because i had no other topping in the house the first time i made it, other than half a jar of strawberry jam and a bag of desiccated coconut, the tin i had was also square if you hadn't guessed.
The joy of this cake is you can decorate it with anything you fancy or currently have in the cupboard. Nutella or sweets of your choice, lemon curd etc, if you are eating the cake straight away add fresh fruit such as strawberry's, if you are feeling brave try butter cream to give it a cupcake like taste you will need to add a cake flavouring to your list of ingredients as well as extra butter and a 500g box of icing sugar.
This buttercream can be done by hand but it can stay quite grainy so if you can get your hands on a mixer then use that, you get better results and it hurts your arms far less. So firstly mix 160g of butter until its soft, once softened and creamy in texture add half of your icing sugar, be warned of the dust cloud that will emerge from your mixing bowl is immense,so go lightly or it will be everywhere. Mix in until the creamy butter starts to thicken up and add the rest of the icing sugar, if this makes your buttercream too thick you can add a tiny drop of milk to soften it up, careful because once its too runny its not the same, your buttercream should be light and creamy, so only use tiny drops of milk at a time.
Once ready add a tbsp of flavouring to your buttercream and mix in well, there are so many different flavours out there to choose from, simple vanilla has always been one of my most popular bake sales so that is always a good place to start. Just remember less is more some of the cake flavourings out there are pretty strong so you don't need a large amount, pour in the right amount and mix, taste it, then if you want it stronger add a little bit more and repeat.
If you feel the need to place your buttercream in the fridge to set a little before wiping on top of your cake, When you are ready, you can do it in swirls or dots or just smear it all over the whole cake, the choice is yours. Grab a serving plate and cut it into as many pieces as you like, big or small. The amount of slices you get obviously depends on your baking tray and its depth but there's plenty to fill the family up on a rainy day or even with a glass of lemonade sitting in the back garden in the sun. Plus the whole family can join in making and decorating it, why not add some sandwiches and a some tea or coffee and you can have your very own afternoon tea.
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